Fish Bowls

Fish Bowls lesson plan

Students use their knowledge of fish to practice sorting.

  • 1.

    Students engage in a unit of study focused on fish and their body parts. Note colorations and shapes of various fish.

  • 2.

    Organize a field trip to a local aquarium. As children preview the exhibits, ask them to talk about similarities and differences they are observing in the fish.

  • 3.

    Organize students in small groups with an adult to supervise each group, if possible. Provide students with various colors of construction paper and Crayola® Construction Paper™ Crayons. Ask students to draw several fish on their construction paper sheets. Encourage them to add eyes, fins, scales, mouths, and other features as appropriate. If students are able, have them use Crayola Scissors to cut out their fish drawings. Ask students to put their names on the back of each fish sketch they have made.

  • 4.

    Provide students with the opportunity to sort their fish. You may ask them to sort by color, whether or not they have scales, by size, etc.


  • LA: Know and apply grade-level phonics and word analysis skills in decoding words.
  • LA: Participate in collaborative conversations with diverse partners about grade level topics and texts with peers and adults in small and larger groups.
  • LA: With guidance and support from adults, recall information from experiences or gather information from provided sources to answer a question.
  • LA: Determine or clarify the meaning of unknown and multiple-meaning words and phrases based on grade level content.
  • LA: Speak audibly and express thoughts, feelings, and ideas clearly.
  • SCI: Use observations to describe patterns of what plants and animals (including humans) need to survive.
  • SCI: Use a model to represent the relationship between the needs of different plants or animals (including humans) and the places they live.
  • SS: Recognize and interpret how the “common good” can be strengthened through various forms of citizen action.
  • VA: Use visual structures of art to communicate ideas.
  • VA: Use different media, techniques, and processes to communicate ideas, experiences, and stories.


  • Possible classroom resources include: This Is Not My Hat by Jon Kalssen; The Tale of the Clownfish and the Great Shark by Lily Lexington; About Fish: A Guide For Children by Catherine P. Sill; Ten Little Fish by Audrey Wood
  • Invite a local fisherman to visit with the class to share his knowledge of fish types, their movements, eating habits, etc.